5 Charlotte gardens to help you unwind

5 Charlotte gardens to help you unwind
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Every now and then it’s important to escape the concrete and reconnect with nature. Sure, you could take a hike around Crowder’s Mountain or hit up one of Charlotte’s 210 parks, but we think you should mix it up by exploring manicured lawns, tropical blooms and unique outdoor installations.

Budding naturalists, couples seeking a romantic date destination, families looking for a new place to explore and harried Charlotteans looking for a spot to spend a tranquil afternoon – this roundup is for you.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Drive from Uptown: 30 minutes.
Size: 400 acres of rolling meadows, woodland and lakefront property.
Cost: $12.95 for adults, $6.95 for children 2-12.
Why you should visit: Featuring an English Walled Garden, Orchid Conservatory and Lost Hollow: The Kimbrell Children’s Garden, DSBG has exhibits for all levels of garden enthusiasts.
When you should go: Now through August 27, the gardens are open to guests every Thursday night for food, beer, wine and blooms.

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Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary

Drive from Uptown: 12 minutes.
Size: Three acres of lovely vistas, formal gardens and woodland areas.
Cost: $10 for individuals ages 10 and up, no charge for children under 10.
Why you should visit: Created by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson in 1927, the gardens were planted with an emphasis on hosting wildlife with plants to provide cover, nesting sites food and water.
When you should go: On August 28, the gardens are hosting the MayoBird food truck (a Ted-approved favorite), cash bar and soul music.

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UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

Drive from Uptown: 20 minutes.
Size: 10 acres between the Susie Harwood Garden and Van Landingham Glen.
Cost: Free.
Why you should visit: The Susie Harwood Garden features meandering paths, waterfalls and an Asian Garden that feels intimate and magical in every season. Van Landingham Glen features seven acres of woods showcasing plants native to the Carolinas. It’s also a great place to play hide-and-seek around dusk, but you didn’t hear that from us.
When you should go: The gardens are open seven days a week, but we recommend going before campus is crawling with students in September.

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Historic Rosedale Plantation

Drive from Uptown: 10 minutes.
Size: The plantation is on 8.5 acres.
Cost: $10 for adults, $8 for K-12 students.
Why you should visit: The garden at Rosedale Plantation is designed to depict a typical garden of the early 1800s. Blooms are seasonal and the walks are lined with bulb plants.
When you should go: A trip to this garden requires some advance planning. The plantation offers “drop-in” days that are less expensive than reserving a private appointment. Plan your visit here.

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McGill Rose Garden

Drive from Uptown: 10 minutes.
Size: 11 acres featuring 1,000 roses.
Cost: Free.
Why you should visit: You won’t find another place to see 230 varieties of roses this close to Center City. An All-American Rose Selections Public Garden, McGill Rose Garden also features local artists and is an oasis among the industrial tracks around NoDa.
When you should go: The next time you get stuck waiting for trains to get out of the way.

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Cover photo via Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.

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